Todd Fisher is still mourning the December 2016 loss of his sister Carrie Fisher and mother Debbie Reynolds but he’s celebrating the recent announcement that his sister’s final performance as Princess Leia will be seen in the upcoming “Star Wars: Episode IX”.
“My sister and Princess Leia are the same thing. And the idea of that story stopping and her not carrying forward is very disturbing to me,” he tells ET Canada. Fisher says he fought hard for director J.J. Abrams and Disney to include his late sister’s iconic character in the upcoming film.
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“It is awesome that it worked out this way and, thanks to [director] J.J. Abrams, this is going to be very magical and important to us all,” he says. But fans need not fret – despite rumours her onscreen performance would be pieced together with CGI, Fisher says there’s enough unused footage of the actress filmed around the time of “The Force Awakens” to weave into the upcoming “Star Wars” film.
Though Fisher can’t spill any “Star Wars” secrets, he says the production was able to “bring her into the story in a way as if they filmed it yesterday,” calling it “magical.”
“The things that she shot a few years ago are frozen in time, so to speak, and [have] been reborn into the final ‘Star Wars’ where she is the character that needed to continue.”
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As the production watched the unused footage and outtakes from the previous films, Fisher says it wasn’t an “easy task” for the filmmakers to make the existing scenes not only work but be part of a good story. He says he also identifies with the emotionally difficult task of seeing a departed friend and cast member on screen, especially as he writes the new book, My Girls, on the life of his mother and sister.
“It is not easy, I could tell you. For me, I have to watch a lot of these old movies and it is heartbreaking sometimes to see your family that has left us,” he explains. “But if you believe in the way our family does – in the Force – we aren’t really apart at all and she will always be with us. But it is nice when you can put her back up on the screen and continue the story and continue the saga. That is important for all of us.”
Fisher says his niece, actress Billie Lourd (who also appears in the “Star Wars” saga as Lieutenant Connix), represents her mother’s estate and gave her blessing for the footage of her mother to be used in the film.
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“My niece is really sensitive to the whole thing, the whole family is. Obviously we want to protect Carrie and [the] image of my mother, in particular. We are sensitive to how things are done and why they are done. This is one that you have got to embrace with a big hug.”
Fisher remains a proud and supportive brother of his sister’s work, especially when it comes to her final performance in “Star Wars: The Last Jedi”.
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“One of my favorite things Carrie has ever done was the last movie. She says, ‘May the Force be with you’. You know, the words, you are hanging on them. There are a lot of those. Some of her best acting and I have known her since she didn’t know anything about acting. It is remarkable. She is killing it.”
The still-untitled “Star Wars: Episode IX” will arrive in theatres on Dec. 19, 2019.